Perspectives

by kpmautner

It’s a bit startling to realize how time and experience alter one’s perspectives. Case in point: over the holidays, I was in a lounge listening to music of my youth, and I suddenly wondered how some of these songs had passed the censors. I’m not talking about the so-called “music” currently in vogue, which uses no metaphors and does not shy from the use of objectionable language. I’m talking about the “sweet” songs of the 50s and 60s.

The first one that caught my attention was “Happy Birthday, Sweet Sixteen”. Check out the lyrics:

Tonight’s the night/ I’ve waited for/ tonight you’re not a baby anymore;
You’ve turned into the prettiest girl I’ve ever seen
Happy birthday, Sweet Sixteen.

Translate that:

Tonight’s the night/ I’ve waited for/ tonight you are not jail-bait anymore

The other one that really caught me was “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?”.

Tonight with words unspoken, you say that I’m the only one.
But will my heart be broken, when tonight meets the morning sun?

My first thought was that if she has to ask this question, she’s about to do something she is going to regret later. The song talks about “tonight the look of love is in your eyes”. Yeah, right. And, if the words are unspoken, how on earth has she figured this out?

Then again, you are reading about a person who thought the second line of the Orbison song “Pretty Woman” wasn’t “kind I’d like to meet”, but “candle on her feet”. I always wondered why she’d wear a candle instead of shoes. Or Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “there’s a bathroom on the right”.

Anyone else run into odd thoughts about the oldies?